Alessandro Romano

The Empathic Tech Lead


From Mac OS X to Windows as a Developer

You may think you'll get a poorer Developer eXperience and miss a lot of features you take for granted. I can show you how I migrated to good ol' Windows without losing my head.

3 min read

Ok, but... why?

I'm working for AideXa as Head of IT Development (& Delivery) since October after 4 beautiful years at As Software Engineer I was so used to my Macbook Pro that I thought I would never be able to go back. AideXa, as a company acting in a High Regulated Environment, has strong requirements in terms of devices and control over them, that's why we preferred to stick to a Microsoft-driven ecosystem with Azure, Active Directory and the Office suite. This doesn't mean we are not evaluating introducing any Apple notebook in our company policy should they prove superior in particular areas (yeah, M1 CPU I'm talking about you).

Windows has changed

It is crystal clear Microsoft has changed its mind regarding Open Source and providing better experiences for Developers. One of the key features I use the most is Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). They even released Visual Studio Code which is a pearl in the world of Code Editors (with superpowers).

Spotlight -> Win key

This is a quick Win (pun intended) as Windows Search is greatly improved: press down it, type a query and you'll get a smart search across apps, files and settings.

Hot Corner to logout -> Win Key + L

I used to move my cursor in the bottom right corner to securely block my Mac. I now press Win Key + L.

Terminal/iTerm -> Windows Terminal

Another great example of Microsoft embracing open source, releasing its applications and making them suitable for developers. Windows Terminal, Console and Command line has all the features I needed: it works well with the old cmd, Power Shell and bash console you get by installing WSL.

Maccy/CopyClip -> Win Key + V (Clipboard Manager)

I think the feature I abuse the most. You don't need any external application, it is built-in in any Windows 10 setup. Just hold Win Key + V to get the Clipboard Manager that (once activated) can store almost infinite Copy Entries, including text, images and whatever you were able to copy. It is a breeze to remove all or just some of them and you can even pin your favorite! Clipboard Manager

Emoji Picker -> Win Key + . (dot)

While on Mac OS you can press Command + Control + Spacebar to open the emoji picker Emoji Picker Mac

On Windows, you can access an even better version (it includes GIF search too) by hitting Win Key + . (dot) Emoji Picker